After being diagnosed with spinal stenosis, many patients ask whether it can be reversed. In some cases, it can. This degenerative condition is characterized by a gradual narrowing of the spinal canal over time. A common reason for spinal surgery, spinal stenosis often becomes apparent after age 50, when an individual first begins to notice leg pain, numbness or tingling that worsens with walking or standing and improves with bending forward or sitting. Spinal stenosis is usually caused by a combination of factors, such as aging and repetitive activities, which can lead to considerable wear and tear on the spine. The narrowing occurs as spinal degeneration produces excess tissue in the form of bone spurs, bulging discs or inflamed joints. Even though this excess tissue takes up crucial space within the spinal canal (which houses the spinal cord and a series of nerve roots), it generally produces no symptoms unless the overcrowding results in painful pressure on the spinal cord or a spinal nerve root. Additionally, if symptoms develop, they tend to intensify very slowly. In response, many people simply make lifestyle adjustments that allow them to live with the condition in the background. When spinal stenosis symptoms occur – even if they are mild – it’s important to see your therapist for a prompt and accurate diagnosis. The reason is twofold. First, these symptoms can also indicate other health conditions that require treatment, such as poor circulation (peripheral vascular disease) or diabetic neuropathy. And second, if the symptoms are traced to spinal stenosis, the condition will continue to progress if left untreated, potentially leading to serious complications like limited mobility and incontinence. Oftentimes, mild to moderate discomfort associated with spinal stenosis can be successfully managed with lifestyle changes and conservative measures like physical therapy, weight management, a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, postural improvements and pain relievers. Surgery is always the treatment of last resort, reserved only for patients who experience severe or worsening symptoms despite conservative treatment. A surgeon may be able to reduce pressure on the spinal cord or nerve root by removing part of the tissue that is encroaching the spinal canal. However, it is important to keep in mind that surgery is not necessary for the majority of patients, mainly because they are able to find relief through nonsurgical measures. While no treatment can undo the degenerative changes associated with spinal stenosis, with proper treatment you can fully resolve all symptoms related to stenosis and prevent it from progressing.
Book An Appointment
Starting your recovery is as simple as answering a few questions.
Learn How To Get Started
Learn all you will need to know about your first visit right here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the your most common questions are one click away.